From Essaouira With Love

Essaouira is this town in Morocco where it’s always sunny and windy too.

Essaouira in winter – Nikon D 600 – Nikkor AFS 28–300 mm V f/3.5-5.6 G [ƒ/9.0 28.0 mm 1/320 400 ISO]

From Essaouira With Love

There is a story about this picture. We were roaming around the port in Essaouira, a town which is famous for its mixture of history and scenery. It is also known for being almost always sunny all year round and windy too. There is this blustery wind coming across the Atlantic from the north-west which is blowing hard across town. On the upside, it means it is never too warm in Essaouira. On the downside, unless you are like me, you will always have to watch your hairdo.

The Shipyard

So here we were roaming around the port, with me lugging my 2 kg photo kit upon my shoulder, and the wife following behind. I was in search of idiosyncratic scenery, of which there is always plenty of in this town.

We were amongst a number of ships being refurbished in the shipyard. And there was this guy trying to get money from us and insulting me because I didn’t want to pay him for showing me around. Even though I didn’t want to be shown around and besides, the government is fighting hard against these so-called fake guides. They are smarmy people who can also be incredibly obnoxious while trying to get money from you. They want to take you places and show you stuff that you could like to take pictures of, even though you’d rather be on your own.

To an extent, I understand the need to make extra money and there is nothing wrong with that.

It’s just that the hassle is so permanent that the government has had to hire a special police force to look after them and chase them. And this guy was quite intent on me paying him for taking pictures of these ships and hulls even though they never belonged to him in the first place.

We Are Part of Mass Tourism and of the Problem

Mark my word, this has nothing to do with most Moroccan people who are incredibly friendly and nice. I have many Moroccan friends and I worked there and I love that country. It’s a great place to live and work in. But some people are benefiting from the system. See what World Nomads are writing about them here. Obviously, mass tourism is part of the problem. We are part of that problem and we are responsible for it, to an extent.

Anyway, this whole episode did piss me off quite a bit. And I didn’t know what to do and suddenly there was this gull coming towards the ship and casting an enormous shadow in the midday sun. As it was winter, the fact that it was midday didn’t cause any problems. At the end of the day, I left the place with the man cursing at me. Not such a good memory. This is a bit of a reflex shot, but I didn’t have to reframe it. I love this picture because it was right above my head for years on end in my office as I started my business in 2014.

Now that I have a new office and photo studio, I need to find a few more pictures to decorate the walls. Unfortunately, I couldn’t keep that picture and I need to find a few more now. Maybe a series of pictures based on a consistent theme? This would undoubtedly make my walls and professional life a little more lively.

We’ll be going back to that later.

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